A&E » Arts

Old-school metal’s bloody comeback



Vancouver’s 3 Inches of Blood building momentum at home and overseas

Who : 3 Inches of Blood, with Black Rice

Where : Garfinkel’s

When : Sunday, Sept. 7

Tickets : $10

A heavy metal drummer is a great judge of earth shaking events. For Geoff Trawick, who pounds the skins for Vancouver metal maniacs 3 Inches of Blood, it was being offered a chance to open for hardcore metal icons Slayer in the U.K. this past June.

"It was absolutely insane! I grew up listening to Slayer," says Trawick. "It would have been a dream come true. Unfortunately it couldn’t happen. We had the slot, but a whole bunch of different things forced us to go a different direction at that point. But hopefully we’ll get the opportunity again, because that was the day I sort of realized we’re not just playing local clubs anymore, we actually have an opportunity to play with Slayer!"

It’s entirely possible that Slayer may call back soon since Blood’s momentum doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The two-year-old band, which started out courting metal aficionados from Vancouver’s college-rock and punk scenes, is building an army of fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Several songs have been licensed to a fresh crop of snowboard and skateboard videos up for release this season, and Battlecry Under a Winter Sun, their first full-length album, released last March, has an impressive following in the U.K., where they plan to tour in October.

"I’m stoked on that," says Trawick. "It’s so cool that people in another place, where we’ve never been, are into what’s going on over here… We’re going over there with no pretenses. We don’t really know anybody and nobody knows us, so it’s not like we’re playing shows to friends who are going to be supportive because they’re friends. We’re going over there to play shows for people who like the band based on the music."

The music is winning new fans here on the homefront as well. Trawick says lately, he’s noticed a more diverse audience.

"When we first started playing Vancouver, it was just kind of the same core group of people who go out to all the shows," he muses. "Now we’re starting to draw more of the older guys who were teenagers when metal was first big. We didn’t start in a metal scene – we started more in an indie-rock scene, so it’s kind of cool that we’re being taken seriously by a metal audience now."

Obviously metal fans young and old are stoked to hear fresh blood ripping through original tunes reminiscent of the heyday of Iron Maiden. Comparisons are inevitable: Blood has the riffs, the screaming high-pitched vocals, and the phantasmagoric themes trailblazed by Bruce Dickinson et al. It’s all very flattering, says Trawick, though he emphasizes that he hopes to avoid the impression that Blood is an ’80s retro band.

"I love Iron Maiden, I love being compared to Iron Maiden, but I don’t want to be seen as an ’80s schtick band," he says. "The good thing is they’re amazing musicians, they write amazing songs, and they’re one of my favourite bands."

In terms of the wild showmanship that characterized the old school, Trawick is pretty sure that regardless of how big the group becomes they will shy away from metal-god fashions. An elaborate set, however, is a different story.

"I couldn’t really picture any of us in Spandex," he laughs. "I actually wouldn’t really want to picture any of us in Spandex. Two-story demons, maybe. It would be fun to have a big, over-the-top stage show."

Catch Trawick and the other five members of 3 Inches of Blood with openers Black Rice at Garfinkel’s this Sunday night. Tickets $10.